Thursday, January 23, 2014

Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?

I think so, Brain, but burlap chafes me so... So, last night I get tagged in a Facebook post for this:

How Formula One's Amazing New Hybrid Turbo Engine Works
A 1.6-liter V6 turbo revving at 15,000 rpm with unlimited boost that turns small drops of fuel into 600 horsepower aided by an electrical system that pumps out another 160 electron-charged horses. This is the pinnacle of engine development.

As we get to know more about this season's brand new F1 engines, current champion Renault has released all the info they can share about their state of the art vacuum cleaner V6. This turbo is nothing like the old one.
Here's the engine in question:

So, I see this, and naturally I can't help but think of anything but these good people:

These are the folks that put a 150 HP helicopter engine on one of their mowers to achieve a 60+ MPH cutting speed, mind you. Imagine what they could do with a 600 HP racing engine. I imagine that the mower would be capable of time travel.

Honestly, the most amazing thing is how much better this technology has gotten and continues to get. 30 years ago the idea that you could get 600 HP out of a 6 cylinder engine would have been laughed out of any car manufacturer's offices. I owned a Buick with a 3.0L V6 that put out 125 HP, and at the time that was considered decent. A friend's 305 CI V8 put out 185 HP. Both of these vehicles, mind you, required nearly constant maintenance.

I'm excited to think what will become available in the next 30 years, especially for riding mowers...

That is all.


Lupis42 said...

60 MPH is not even close to the worlds fastest mower anymore.
IIRC, this had a top speed of 130, and a theoretical top cutting speed of 110:

Ted said...

600 hp from 1.6 liters is what is impressive. But we've down this road before. Let's see how often they turn themselves into hand grenades. Now there is a good reason to watch the F1 parades again. The fireworks should be spectacular !!!

Dave H said...

I'm amazed they can fit six pistons into 1.6 liters.

Ted has a point. Racing engines are designed to be powerful and lightweight, but they only have to last for the duration of the race.

That's why I'm always skeptical about motor oil ads that trumpet the fact that their oil is used by racing teams. I need another 80,000 miles out of my engine more than I need another 5 hp.

Phssthpok said...

30 years ago the idea that you could get 600 HP out of a 6 cylinder engine would have been laughed out of any car manufacturer's offices.

Only not so much. IIRC MOPAR's skunkworks turned their attention to one of their workhorse 2.2l four cylinders, gave it a one-turbo-per-cylinder work over (among other go-fast goodies), and were churning out well over 100HP per cylinder.

I seem to recall the GM V-6 in the grand national being given similar treatments (though not so much by the manufacturers). Time had barely crept us past the nineties when folks were handily getting 1000+ hp out of 6 cylinders.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

It is a neat development, getting that much HP out of that displacement.

But what if the hippopotamus doesn't want to wear the lederhosen?

Jim said...

Dave H.

Remember the Honda CBX, early '80s? 1000 cc six cylinder inline (traverse) engine.

And the 1988-1999 Gold Wing, GL-1500, (actually, 1520cc), flat six. It's now the GL-1800.

The output of that Renault engine is impressive, but what's more impressive is the very light weight and tight packaging. All the better to fit into those carbon F-1 cars with their generally whippet thin drivers.

I don't think F-1 has a car that Dan Gurney could even squeeze into, these days.

Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Anonymous said...

Remember too that the technology of F1 engines doesn't include valve springs. There is a little bottle of HP air that keeps the air springs on the valves charged. Also, the 2014 sporting regulations limit the changes that can be made over the entire season to 5 units of each major subsystem of the power unit so durability will be required. I don't think you'll see many engine grenades at all.